Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE Doing Philosophy in the Islamic World

LEVEL 02 - Years 2, 3 in Modular Undergraduate Course



DESCRIPTION This study-unit begins with an introduction to the wider area of Islamic thought which would include history, culture, and the interaction of scholars from various creeds during the classical period of Islam. This would be followed by a discussion of the following themes:

1. The Hellenic philosophical heritage and the origins of Islamic Philosophy;
2. Metaphysics and Philosophical Interpretation of Qur'anic creation narratives;
3. Prophecy and Political Thought;
4. Religious Discourse and Philosophy;
5. Western Scholastic Engagement with Islamic Thought;
6. Modern Trends in Islamic Thought.

Study-unit Aims:

This study-unit aims at providing students with a general introduction to Islamic thought, especially during the classical period. It will first highlight the historical and cultural background of philosophical studies within Islamic civilization. This will be followed by a discussion of the main philosophical issues that were addressed in classical Islam as well as the key questions that have been (and still are) being raised in the light of modern thought.

Learning Outcomes:

1. Knowledge & Understanding
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

a. Acquire a better grasp of philosophical questions raised within Classical and Modern Islam by its principal scholars;
b. Analyze the development of Islamic thought with particular reference to the shift from Classical to Modern;
c. Appraise and critique ideas put forward by Islamic thinkers.

2. Skills
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

a. Better analyze and discuss the main issues addressed by Islamic civilization in its encounter with the Hellenic world;
b. Acquire a better background into the questions raised within modern Islam thought in its encounters with modernity.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings:

Main Texts

Kassab E.S., ed. (2009) Contemporary Arab Thought: Cultural Critique in Comparative Perspective. New York: Columbia University Press.
Mahdi, M. and Lerner, R. (1963) Medieval Political Philosophy: A Sourcebook. New York: The Free Press of Glencoe.
Lauziere, H. (2016) The Making of Salafism. New York: Columbia University Press.
Leaman, O. (1985) An Introduction to Classical Islamic Philosophy. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Iqbal, M. (2013) The Reconstruction of Religious Thought in Islam. New York: Stanford University Press.
Schimmel, A. (1963) Gabriel's wing: A study into the religious ideas of Sir Muhammad Iqbal. Leiden: Brill.

Supplementary Reading

Adamson, P. and Taylor, R.C. (2005) The Cambridge Companion to Arabic Philosophy. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Adamson, A. (2015) Philosophy in the Islamic World: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Elders, L.J. (2018) Thomas Aquinas and His Predecessors. Washington D.C: Catholic University of America Press.
Hourani, A. (1983) Arabic Thought in the Liberal Age, 1798-1939. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Nasr, S.H. and Leaman, L., eds (1996) History of Islamic Philosophy. London: Routledge.

Some texts will also be available for students on VLE.



Assessment Component/s Assessment Due Resit Availability Weighting
Assignment SEM2 Yes 100%

LECTURER/S Joseph Ellul

The University makes every effort to ensure that the published Courses Plans, Programmes of Study and Study-Unit information are complete and up-to-date at the time of publication. The University reserves the right to make changes in case errors are detected after publication.
The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
It should be noted that all the information in the description above applies to study-units available during the academic year 2020/1. It may be subject to change in subsequent years.